Bugger, rooted, bloody oath…What is it about Australians and swearing?
We’ve got an international reputation for using bad language (Where the bloody hell are ya?) and letting rip with a choice swear word or two has long been a very Aussie thing to do.
From the defiant curses of the convicts and bullock drivers to the humour of Kath and Kim, Amanda Laugesen, director of the Australian National Dictionary Centre, takes us on a fascinating journey through the history of Australia’s bad language to reveal our preoccupations and our concerns.
Bad language has been used in all sort of ways in our history: to defy authority, as a form of liberation and subversion, and as a source of humour and creativity.
Bad language has also been used to oppress and punish those who have been denied a claim to using it, notably Indigenous Australians and women. It has also long been subject to various forms of censorship.
‘If you’ve ever wondered why to use bad language in Australia is to ‘swear like a bullocky’, Amanda Laugesen’s Rooted will give you the answer.
Taking us on a colourful tour of more than two centuries of bad language that extends from the mildly offensive to the completely filthy, Laugesen tells the story of Australia through those words and phrases that have often been seen as unfit to print.
This is an engrossing social history – a bloody beauty – from one of our leading experts on Australian English.’ — Frank Bongiorno, Professor of History, The Australian National University Price $32.99(AUD.